This post is another in a series of posts I’m doing on free stuff! Every one loves free stuff and today I’m going to show you how to get some cool free image editing software.
Everyone who has ever setup a website or done any kind of work on the Internet has, at one time or another, needed a good image editor to either create a cool graphic or edit a cool graphic. Whether you simply need to resize an image, crop an image or create an eye grabbing header, software tools like Adobe Photoshop are a necessity. But what if you don’t have the $400 or so needed to buy the software? Outside of piracy, what do you do?
Well, beleive it or not, there are some really great image editing software packages that are a great replacement to Photoshop and best of all these applications are free!!
The Gimp (GNU Image Manipulation Program) has been around for a really long time. As long as I can remember, this open source application has been a great alternative to Windows based image editors. Originally only available on Linux and Unix, the Gimp is now available for Windows and Mac as well! The Gimp supports a range of common file types like JPEG (JFIF), GIF, PNG, PSD, TIFF to special use formats such as the multi-resolution and multi-color-depth Windows icon files. This tool is very similar to Photshop and most anyone familiar with Photoshop should have no trouble getting going with the Gimp.
Paint.net has been touted as an advanced replacment for Windows Paint program (which is almost useless). Paint.net is another great free image manipulation software package that will allow you to do most any web graphics work you need for your website. With supported files types such as PNG, JPEG, BMP, GIF, TGA, DDS, and TIFF as well as its own PDN format to preserve layering similar to photoshop. Natively however Paint.net does not support PSD files. But never fear Paint.net does support plugins and there is a cool PSD plugin for Paint.net to give the needed PSD support.
There are more free image editors out there, but these are my two favorites. I actually have all three loaded on my system as each one can do things a little easier than others in certain areas. Overall though if you can’t afford Photoshop there are alternatives out there that will get your website looking bright and shiney with the eye popping graphics we all love!